The extended upgrade of Gospel Oak to Barking on the Overground is causing yet another closure from today, November 18, until the middle of January next year due to delays to electrification work.
Transport for London (TfL) issued a warning for travellers that as Network Rail works on a major upgrade to enable new and longer trains to run from spring 2018, trains will not travel between Gospel Oak and Barking from 6.30pm on November 18, Saturday, until January 14, 2018, Sunday.
Setbacks have pushed the original timeline off track because of incorrect design and late delivery of materials and also because of the increased cost of the £130m project to £172m. The work was set to be completed last June and now is not anticipated to be wrapped up until January 2018.
Once the electrification work is finished, that will be followed by the testing of the new electric trains and driver training, with trains starting passenger service from spring 2018. The current diesel services will operate as normal until they are replaced by the new double-length trains.
Along the 14-mile route, some structures that were carrying the overhead lines were designed incorrectly and could not be installed at the proposed locations. Further delays were due to late delivery of materials and structures.
Replacement buses will operate while the line is still suspended, and TfL said that regular users of the line would automatically be refunded for the extra cost of Zone 1 travel made by rail or Tube.
Network Rail had said earlier that the work “has not been without its difficulties” and has apologised for the continued delays while saying that the “immense benefits” of the project will be realised in the coming months.
It said that the programme of works would double the present capacity for passengers on the line, as well as improving air quality for people who work and live near the railway.